Doctor of Civil Law

Doctor of Civil Law (DCL; Latin: Doctor Civilis Legis) is a degree offered by some universities, such as the University of Oxford, instead of the more common Doctor of Laws (LLD) degrees.

At Oxford, the degree is a higher doctorate usually awarded on the basis of exceptionally insightful and distinctive publications that contain significant and original contributions to the study of law or politics in general. As of June 2016, the DCL has been suspended, pending a reform of the higher doctorates.[1] The DCL is senior to all degrees save the Doctor of Divinity which was traditionally the highest degree bestowed by the Universities. The degree of Doctor of Canon Law was replaced by the DCL after the Reformation. The degree of Doctor of Civil Law by Diploma is customarily conferred on foreign Heads of State, as well as on the Chancellor of the University. (The British Sovereign is unable to receive university degrees, since these would, theoretically, place her under the jurisdiction of the Chancellor of the university. Prior to her accession, the present Queen did accept several honorary degrees, including an Oxford DCL in 1948).[2]

The following other higher institutions also provide for awarding a DCL:

In some other universities, the DCL is an honorary degree.

Oxford DCL convocation (Loggan 1675)
An Oxford Doctor of Civil Law, in Convocation dress, from David Loggan's 1675 engraving Oxonia Illustrata.

See also


  1. ^ Education Committee: Suspension of higher degrees, Oxford University Gazette vol. 146 no. 5137 (16th June 2016)
  2. ^ See 'Honorary Degrees', in Ronald Allison and Sarah Riddell, eds., The Royal Encyclopedia (London; Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1991), p. 264.
Alexander Croke

Sir Alexander Croke (July 22, 1758 – December 27, 1842) was a British judge, Colonial Administrator and author influential in Nova Scotia of the early nineteenth century.

Croke came from a wealthy family and attended Oriel College, Oxford, where he earned the degree of Doctor of Civil Law. Practicing maritime law, he earned a strong enough reputation for his work that in 1801 he was offered his choice of appointments to the newly established vice-admiralty courts in Nova Scotia or the West Indies.

Croke's bench in Nova Scotia had considerable jurisdiction; over all maritime cases in a colony based largely on fishing and where smuggling was commonplace. Since the population and the Assembly was highly sympathetic to smuggling, the court, which denied jury trials to the accused was unpopular. During the War of 1812, the ever-conservative Croke even found guilty merchants who had been granted licences by colonial authorities to engage in the slave trade with New England, on the grounds that he could not support an illegal policy.

As the highest-ranking justice, Croke administered the colony while the lieutenant governor was away, from 6 Dec. 1808 to 15 April 1809 and again from 25 August to 16 Oct. 1811. His administration was marked with conflict with the Assembly, whose budget he vetoed.

Croke influenced the development of educational institutions in Nova Scotia. He was on the first board of King's College and was primarily responsible for drafting its statutes, which required students to subscribe to the Anglican faith (as only a quarter of Nova Scotians did). When a strong movement to establish inter-denominational education appeared a few years later, Croke was among its most vocal opponents.

Croke published works of satirical poetry (which exacerbated his unpopularity in certain circles), a book on the genealogy of his family, and many letters.

He left Nova Scotia in 1815 and was knighted on July 5, 1816.

Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar

Diwan Bahadur Sir Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar, KCSI (14 October 1887 – 17 July 1976) was an Indian lawyer, diplomat and statesman who served as a senior leader of the Justice Party and in various administrative and bureaucratic posts in pre-independence and independent India.

Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar was born on 14 October 1887 in the town of Kurnool and had his schooling in Kurnool. He graduated from the Madras Christian College and studied law at the Madras Law College. On completion of his studies, practised as a lawyer before joining the Justice Party and entering politics. Mudaliar was nominated to the Madras Legislative Council in 1920 and served from 1920 to 1926 and as a member of the Madras Legislative Assembly from 1931 to 1934, losing to S. Satyamurti in the 1934 elections. He served as a member of the Imperial Legislative Council from 1939 to 1941, as a part of Winston Churchill's war cabinet from 1942 to 1945 and as the Indian Representative in the Pacific War Council. He was India's delegate to the San Francisco Conference and served as the first President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. He also served as the last Diwan of Mysore kingdom and occupied the seat from 1946 to 1949.

Charles Compton, 7th Earl of Northampton

Charles Compton, 7th Earl of Northampton, DL (22 July 1737 – 18 October 1763) was a British peer and diplomat.

He was the eldest son of Hon. Charles Compton, in turn youngest son of George Compton, 4th Earl of Northampton, and his wife Mary, only daughter of Sir Berkeley Lucy, 3rd Baronet. Compton was educated at Westminster School and went then to Christ Church, Oxford. In 1758, he succeeded his uncle George Compton as earl and was elected Recorder of Northampton. He received a Doctor of Civil Law by the University of Oxford in the following year and was nominated a Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Northamptonshire.In 1761, during the coronation of King George III of the United Kingdom, Compton was the Bearer of the Ivory Rod with the Dove. Subsequently he was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Rupublic of Venice with his introduction in May 1763, died only few months later.On 13 September 1759, he married Lady Ann Somerset, eldest daughter of Charles Somerset, 4th Duke of Beaufort. Their only child Elizabeth married George Cavendish, 1st Earl of Burlington. His wife died at Naples in May 1763 and Compton survived her until October, aged only 26. Both were buried in the family's vault in Compton, Northamptonshire. He was succeeded in the earldom by his younger brother Spencer.

Cyril Wyche

Sir Cyril Wyche PRS (1632 – ?1707) was an English lawyer and politician.

He was born in Constantinople, Turkey, where his father, Sir Peter Wyche, was the English Ambassador. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford with Bachelor of Arts in 1653. He received his Master of Arts (MA) in 1655 and his Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) in 1665. Between the time he received his MA and his DCL, he was knighted (1660). This is so close in time to the English Restoration that he was almost certainly a Cavalier, and may have served in the military for the Royalist cause.

He was an original member of the Royal Society and served as President from 1683–1684. He joined the bar in 1670 and became Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1692. He was a Member of Parliament for several districts at different times, (MP for Callington (1661–1678), for East Grinstead (1681–1685), for Saltash (1685–1687), and for Preston (1702–1705) From the Sackler Archive of Fellows of the Royal Society.

He married Mary, daughter of George Evelyn of Wootton and niece of John Evelyn, the diarist. Around 1690 he purchased Hockwold Hall (then called The Poynings) at Hockwold cum Wilton, Norfolk. He died there and a monument to him can be found in the church of St. Peter in Hockwold.

David Williams (British legal scholar)

Sir David Glyndwr Tudor Williams, QC, DL (22 October 1930 – 6 September 2009), was a barrister and the first full-time Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, 1989–1996.

He was first educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Carmarthen, and was a graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge (in History and Law). He was a Harkness Fellow at Berkeley and Harvard between 1956 and 1958. He moved to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, from Keble College, Oxford in 1967 and was subsequently promoted to Reader in Public Law 1976-1980, before being appointed Rouse Ball Professor of English Law 1983-1992 and elected President of Wolfson College, Cambridge 1980-1992.

In 1989 he was appointed the first full-time Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics from 1991 to 1994. In 2007 he was appointed as the chancellor of Swansea University.Sir David had been awarded honorary degrees by a dozen institutions, including an honorary LLD from the University of Cambridge and a Doctor of Civil Law from the University of Western Ontario.

Sir David died from cancer on 6 September 2009 at the age of 78.In 2016, the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law named its building and a Chair in Public Law after him.

Doctor of Law

Doctor of Law or Doctor of Laws is a degree in law. The application of the term varies from country to country, and includes degrees such as the Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D. or S.J.D), Doctor juris (Dr. iur. or Dr. jur.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Legum Doctor (LL.D.).

Donald Maclean (judge)

Donald Maclean (1877 – July 1947) was a Canadian politician, judge, and university administrator. Between 1918 and 1921, he was in His Majesty's Loyal Opposition in Saskatchewan. In April 1921, he became a Saskatchewan judge and accepted an appointment to the Justice of the Court of King's Bench. He taught in the faculty of law, at the University of Saskatchewan until 1923. An honorary Doctor of Civil Law was bestowed upon him May 9, 1947 for services rendered to the public especially within the University of Saskatchewan. Donald Maclean held a term of office on the University of Saskatchewan Board of Governors from 1932-1946. Donald Maclean was the fourth Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan and served in this position from 1946 until his death in 1947.

Edward Butler (academic)

Edward Butler D.C.L. (died 29 October 1745) was an English academic administrator at the University of Oxford.

Butler was awarded a Doctor of Civil Law at Oxford University. He was elected President (head) of Magdalen College, Oxford, on 29 July 1722, a post he held until he died in 1745.

Butler, a Whig, was a politically oriented. He was a significant benefactor to Magdalen College.

During his time as President of Magdalen, Butler was also Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University from 1728 until 1732.

Henry Newton (diplomat)

Sir Henry Newton (1651–1715) was a British judge and diplomat. He was the eldest son of Henry Newton of Highley and his wife Mary Hunt. He was educated at St. Mary Hall, where he took the degrees of M.A. and B.C.L., and Merton, where he graduated as a Doctor of Civil Law. During the reign of Queen Anne, he was sent to Italy as the Envoy Extraordinary to the Grand Duke of Tuscany and Republic of Genoa, remaining there for nearly seven years. During his stay, he commissioned a medal by the Italian artist Massimiliano Soldani Benzi. After his return, he was made a judge of the admiralty court and master of St Katharine's by the Tower. He was knighted in 1715, but died later the same year.Henry Newton had two daughters. One daughter, Mary, married Henry Rodney, and was the mother of George Brydges Rodney, later raised to the peerage as Baron Rodney. The other daughter, Catherine, married first a Colonel Alexander, and secondly Lord Aubrey Beauclerk.

Humphrey de Cherlton

Humphrey de Cherlton (or Humphrey de Charlton) was an English medieval churchman and university chancellor.De Cherlton was a Doctor of Civil Law.

Between 1354 and 1357, he was Chancellor of the University of Oxford. The St Scholastica Day riot of 10 February 1355, a clash between university students and townspeople leaving 63 students and perhaps 30 locals dead, one of the most notorious events in the history of Oxford, occurred during this period.

Humphrey de Cherlton was also Canon of the Collegiate Church at Totenhale in the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, and a prebendary of York during 1361–83.

Ian White-Thomson

Ian Hugh White-Thomson (18 December 1904 – 11 January 1997) was an eminent Anglican clergyman, the Dean of Canterbury from 1963 to 1976.The son of a former Bishop of Ely, White-Thomson was educated at Harrow, where he was a Monitor and in the Football XI, and Brasenose. He was ordained after a period of study at Ripon College Cuddesdon in 1930 and began his career as a Curate at St Mary's, Ashford, Kent. After this he was Rector of S Martin's with St Paul's, Canterbury then Chaplain

to three successive Archbishops of Canterbury. He was a governor of his old school from 1947 to 1962 and archdeacon of Northumberland from 1955 to 1963. In 1971 was made an honorary doctor of civil law by the University of Kent; and in 1976 a Freeman of the City of Canterbury.

John Abbott

Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott, (March 12, 1821 – October 30, 1893), was a Canadian lawyer and politician, Freemason, who served as the third prime minister of Canada, in office from 1891 to 1892. He held office as the leader of the Conservative Party.

Abbott was born in what is now Saint-André-d'Argenteuil, Quebec. He studied law at McGill University and became one of Montreal's best-known lawyers, later returning to McGill as a professor of law and earning a Doctor of Civil Law degree. He was perhaps best known for his successful defence of the perpetrators of the St. Albans Raid. Abbott involved himself in politics from a young age, signing the Montreal Annexation Manifesto in 1849 – which he later regretted – and winning election to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada in 1860. In the lead-up to Confederation he was a prominent advocate for the rights of English-speaking Quebecers.

In the 1867 federal election, Abbott was elected to the new House of Commons of Canada as a member of the Conservative Party. A telegram leaked from his office played a key part in the Pacific Scandal of 1873, which led to the downfall of John A. Macdonald's first government. Abbott was appointed to the Senate in 1887, in order to become Leader of the Government in the Senate. He became prime minister in June 1891 following Macdonald's death in office. Abbott was 70 years old at the time, and served only until November 1892 when he retired due to ill health. He died the following year.

Joseph Sewall

Joseph Sewall (December 17, 1921 – November 23, 2011) was an American politician and businessperson. He served four terms as President of the Maine Senate (1975–1982), which made him at that time the longest serving Senate President in Maine history.Sewall was born in Old Town, Maine, son of James Wingate Sewall and Louise Gray Sewall in the home that his great grandfather and Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, George P. Sewall, built between 1830 and 1851. His maternal grandfather, George Gray, founded Old Town Canoe Co. He attended local schools, Holderness School, and Bowdoin College, A.B. 1941, Doctor of Civil Law, Honoris Causa, 1983. After graduation (accelerated) from college he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 during World War II as an aerial navigator, specializing in celestial navigation. Shortly after the end of the War, and after his father's death in 1946, he became President of James W. Sewall Company in Old Town, an international consulting forestry and engineering firm. He later was elected to the Old Town City Council and then to the Maine State Senate in 1967. Sewall served as President of the Maine Senate from 1975 to 1982. He was succeeded in the Maine Senate in 1982 by Democrat Michael Pearson. Upon leaving the legislature, Sewall was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Maine Maritime Academy by Governor Joseph Brennan. Soon after his appointment, he was elected Chairman, a post he held for 20 years. He was also appointed by President George H.W. Bush to be a U.S. Commissioner of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park Joint Commission and a Member of the *Commission on Merchant Marine and Defense by President Ronald Reagan and re-appointments by President George H.W. Bush. He was a Trustee of Eastern Maine Medical Center, and a Director of Merchants National Bank, its successor, Merrill Merchants Bank, then its successor, People's United Bank (Bangor District), all of Bangor. Sewall was a moderate Republican.On November 23, 2011, Sewall died at the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine.

Lambeth degree

A Lambeth degree is an academic degree conferred by the Archbishop of Canterbury under the authority of the Ecclesiastical Licences Act 1533 (25 Hen VIII c 21) (Eng) as successor of the papal legate in England. The degrees conferred most commonly are DD (Doctor of Divinity), DCL (Doctor of Civil Law), DLitt (Doctor of Letters), DMus (Doctor of Music), DM (Doctor of Medicine), BD (Bachelor of Divinity) and MA (Master of Arts). The relatively modern degree of MLitt (Master of Letters) has been conferred in recent years, and the MPhil (Master of Philosophy) and PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) are now available. The degrees awarded (and their letters) are dependent on which of the two ancient universities, Oxford or Cambridge, the archbishop chooses as his model. This is also tied with the nature of the academic dress used as well.

Legum Doctor

Legum Doctor (Latin: "teacher of the laws") (LL.D.; Doctor of Laws in English) is a doctorate-level academic degree in law, or an honorary doctorate, depending on the jurisdiction. The double "L" in the abbreviation refers to the early practice in the University of Cambridge to teach both canon law and civil law (Doctor of both laws), with the double "L" itself indicating the plural. This contrasts with the practice of the University of Oxford, where the degree that survived from the Middle Ages is the DCL or Doctor of Civil Law (only).

Lewis de Charleton

Lewis de Charleton (died 23 May 1369) was a medieval Bishop of Hereford in England.

McGill University Faculty of Law

The Faculty of Law is one of the professional graduate schools of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. It is the oldest law school in Canada, and continually ranks among the best law schools in the world. Its civil law degree is ranked as the best in Canada, and consistently outranks Europe, Asia, and Latin America's top civil law schools.The Faculty offers the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) degrees, concurrently, in three to four years, allowing graduates to practice in the Canadian, U.S. and UK common law system as well as Quebec, continental Europe, east Asia and Latin America's civil law system. The Faculty also offers the Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.) degrees.

Graduates of the Faculty consistently account for one quarter of Canada's Supreme Court clerkships, more than any law school in Canada. One of the small number of elite law schools internationally that may submit International Court of Justice (ICJ) clerkship applications, it also consistently places graduates at the ICJ, and has a better placement record than any other Canadian law school.

Its flagship law review, the McGill Law Journal, is the most cited law faculty review by Canada's Supreme Court, and was ranked the best overall student-run law journal in the world outside of the United States. It also publishes the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, the standard reference work for almost all Canadian law reviews, Canadian law schools, and courts.

Notable alumni include Prime Ministers John Abbott and Sir Wilfrid Laurier, ten Justices of the Supreme Court, as well as numerous Members of Parliament.

Richard Gwent

Richard Gwent (died 1543), was the archdeacon of London.

Gwent was the son of a Monmouthshire farmer. He was elected Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, in 1515. On 17 December 1518 he supplicated for bachelor of civil law, on 28 February 1518–19, he was admitted bachelor of canon law, on 20 March 1522–3 he supplicated for doctor of canon law, and proceeded doctor of civil law on 3 April 1525. For a while he acted as chief moderator of the canon law school at Oxford University, and was instituted by the abbess and convent of Godstow to the vicarage of St Giles in that city, a benefice which he resigned in April 1524.

He moved to London in order to practise as an ecclesiastical advocate, and was employed on behalf of Catherine of Aragon in 1529. On 13 April 1528, he was presented to the rectory of Tangmere, Sussex, and on 31 March 1530 to that of St Leonard, Foster Lane, London, which he resigned in 1534 to become, on 17 April of that year, rector of St Peter, Westcheap, London. He was admitted to the prebend of Pipa Parva in the church of Lichfield on 6 October 1531, but quit it for Longdon in the same church on the following 9 December.

He was appointed chaplain to King Henry VIII, and on 18 September 1532 Dean of the Arches and master of the prerogative, having previously been vicar-general of the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield. His name occurs as archdeacon of Brecon in 1534, and on 6 May of that year he was made prebendary of Leighton Ecclesia in the church of Lincoln. When Thomas Cranmer made his metropolitan visitation in September 1534, Gwent, as the archbishop's commissary, visited Merton College, Oxford, and altered many of the ancient customs of that house. Gwent was collated to the archdeaconry of London on 19 December 1534. Convocation elected him their prolocutor in 1536, 1540, and 1541. He was one of those appointed by convocation in July 1540 to determine the validity of the marriage of Henry VIII with Anne of Cleves, and in the following August was a commissioner in London for prosecution upon the 'Six Articles'.

On 5 April 1542 he was installed archdeacon of Huntingdon, and on 12 April of the ensuing year prebendary of Tottenhall in St. Paul's Cathedral. He also held the rectory of Walton-on-the-Hill, Lancashire, that of Newchurch, Kent, and that of North Wingfield, Derbyshire, which last preferment he ceded to Anthony Draycot. He died at the end of July 1543, and by his desire was buried in the middle of St Paul's Cathedral. As 'Richardus Ventamus juridicus' Gwent is eulogised for his virtues and learning in John Leland's 'Encomia.' His will was proved in 1544.

Thomas Coke (bishop)

Thomas Coke (9 September 1747 – 2 May 1814) was the first Methodist bishop and is known as the Father of Methodist Missions.

Born in Brecon, South Wales, his father, Barthomolew, was a well-to-do apothecary. Coke, who was only 5 foot and 1 inch tall and prone to being overweight, read Jurisprudence at Jesus College, Oxford, which has a strong Welsh tradition, graduating Bachelor of Arts, then Master of Arts in 1770, and Doctor of Civil Law in 1775. On returning to Brecon he served as mayor in 1772.

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